B-87541, AUGUST 5, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 63

B-87541: Aug 5, 1949

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THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE INSTALLATION OF AWNINGS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29. WHETHER THIS OFFICE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT IF THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE AWNINGS WERE MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT. THAT UPON OCCUPATION OF THE PREMISES IT WAS FOUND THAT THE INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING WAS EXTREMELY WARM DURING THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS BECAUSE OF THE SUN WHICH ENTERED SIX LARGE WINDOWS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BUILDING AND SEVEN ON THE WEST SIDE. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH COMFORTABLE WORKING CONDITIONS CAN BE MAINTAINED IS THROUGH THE INSTALLATION OF AWNINGS OVER SUCH WINDOWS. - THE GOVERNMENT SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT.

B-87541, AUGUST 5, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 63

LEASES - REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS - INSTALLATION OF AWNINGS UNDER A LEASE OF POST OFFICE QUARTERS PROVIDING THAT THE LESSOR SHALL MAINTAIN THE PREMISES IN GOOD REPAIR AND TENANTABLE CONDITION, AND THAT SATISFACTORY HEAT, HOT AND COLD WATER, ETC., SHALL BE FURNISHED, THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE INSTALLATION OF AWNINGS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE--- SUCH AWNINGS BEING INCLUDED IN THE TERM "FIXTURES" WHICH THE GOVERNMENT MAY ATTACH TO THE PREMISES PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF THE LEASE--- SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS OF SECTION 322 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 5, 1949.

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1949, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE TERMS OF A LEASE WHICH REQUIRE THE LESSOR TO MAINTAIN THE PREMISES IN GOOD REPAIR AND TENANTABLE CONDITION, THE LESSOR MAY BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH AND INSTALL AWNINGS, AND, IF NOT, WHETHER THIS OFFICE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT IF THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE AWNINGS WERE MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IT IS EXPLAINED THAT, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1947, THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT LEASED 14,688 SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE FROM THE BIRMINGHAM TERMINAL CO. FOR USE AS A TERMINAL RAILWAY POST OFFICE IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA., AND THAT UPON OCCUPATION OF THE PREMISES IT WAS FOUND THAT THE INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING WAS EXTREMELY WARM DURING THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS BECAUSE OF THE SUN WHICH ENTERED SIX LARGE WINDOWS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BUILDING AND SEVEN ON THE WEST SIDE. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH COMFORTABLE WORKING CONDITIONS CAN BE MAINTAINED IS THROUGH THE INSTALLATION OF AWNINGS OVER SUCH WINDOWS.

PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE LEASE PROVIDES THAT---

THE LESSOR SHALL, UNLESS HEREIN SPECIFIED TO THE CONTRARY, MAINTAIN THE SAID PREMISES IN GOOD REPAIR AND TENANTABLE CONDITION DURING THE CONTINUANCE OF THIS LEASE * * *. AND PARAGRAPH 8 PROVIDES THAT---

THE GOVERNMENT SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT, DURING THE EXISTENCE OF THIS LEASE, TO MAKE ALTERATIONS, ATTACH FIXTURES, AND ERECT ADDITIONS, STRUCTURES, OR SIGNS, IN OR UPON THE PREMISES HEREBY LEASED * * * WHICH FIXTURES, ADDITIONS, OR STRUCTURES SO PLACED IN OR UPON OR ATTACHED TO THE SAID PREMISES SHALL BE AND REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND MAY BE MOVED THEREFROM BY THE GOVERNMENT PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF THIS LEASE *

WHILE UNDER PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE LEASE THE LESSOR IS OBLIGATED TO MAINTAIN THE PREMISES IN A TENANTABLE CONDITION, IT IS NOTED THAT PARAGRAPH 6 THEREOF SPECIFICALLY REQUIRES THE LESSOR TO FURNISH SATISFACTORY HEAT, HOT AND COLD WATER, FLUORESCENT LIGHTS, TWO ELECTRICALLY COOLED DRINKING FOUNTAINS, TOILET FACILITIES, PLUMBING, ETC., IN VIEW OF WHICH IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ANY SERVICES OR IMPROVEMENTS, IN ADDITION TO THOSE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THE LEASE, ARE NECESSARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LESSEE. FURTHERMORE, NOTHING APPEARS IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT IT IS A CUSTOMARY BUSINESS PRACTICE IN BIRMINGHAM FOR OFFICE OWNERS TO PROVIDE AWNINGS INCIDENT TO THE MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS IN A TENANTABLE

CONDITION.

CONSEQUENTLY, AND AS IT APPEARS THAT AWNINGS PROPERLY ARE INCLUDED IN THE TERM "FIXTURES" AS THAT TERM IS USED IN PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE LEASE, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE INSTALLATION OF SUCH AWNINGS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SUBJECT, OF COURSE, TO THE LIMITATIONS OF SECTION 322 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 412, CF. B-43597, AUGUST 25, 1944.